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mark weber | the yoga & yogurt jazz radio show feat. david sherr


Thursday at 12:06 Noon (Mountain Standard Time)
KUNM 89.9 FM
and streaming on the web >
Current time zone offset: UTC*/GMT -6hours
(*Coordinated Universal Time)/Greenwich Mean Time

Host Mark Weber will be featuring the music of David Sherr who is not only bi-coastal, shooting between Los Angeles and New York, but also straddles the worlds of jazz and classical. And quite successfully. Possibly why his first CD in 1999 was called LOOK BOTH WAYS.

There has been quite some ventures between these two worlds of music over the years, and much of it very interesting, because, simply, the two are not that much different from each other. Mostly, it merely requires a pair of ears that listen, and the rest is music.

Maestro Sherr’s compositions are some of the most captivating interpolations between the two worlds I have ever heard. I would think Gunther Schuller would be very happy to hear this material. (Schuller was one of the movers and
shakers in the Third Stream Music movement of the late 50s on the east coast who worked to formalize jazz + classical.) We’ll be listening to the music of David Sherr, as well, as having a Live telephone discussion with David from New York.

There is a magical sense of connection between all of the elements of David’s music — and indeed, one of his characteristics as a composer is his focus on sequences, and how one thing follows another, how it all is threaded together. And with this he draws you in, captivates your attention.

We’ll also be asking him to tell us about the immortal sessions with saxophonist Sonny Criss that resulted in the album SONNY’S DREAM where David played lead alto sax in the studio orchestra working over Horace Tapscott’s music and arrangements in 1968. As well, his years as a working musician in the Hollywood studios.

You’re homework assignment prior to the broadcast is to listen to Edgar Varese’s “Integrales” three times in one day. This is a good piece of music composed for a chamber ensemble of eleven woodwinds and four percussion that will stretch your ears and get you loosen’d up for David’s music. It is 9 or 10 minutes in length. Easy.

David’s website:

mark weber | reindeer can really fly


jazz radio show
KUNM 89.9 FM
Albuquerque, New Mexico USA
also streaming on the web >
Thursday at Noon (Mountain Standard Time)
UTC/GMT current time offset: -6 hours
December 22, 2011

Live in-studio Christmas Duets with local maestros
Lewis Winn — guitar
Michael Olivola — bass

In New Mexico we have so many great guitar players that you can’t throw a Fender Twin-Reverb amp without hitting one. We easily have ten or twenty A-List Guitarists that I wouldn’t be scared of any of them making the scene in New York or Los Angeles. In fact, quite some of them are Expats from those scenes already. They just prefer New Mexico.

Michael Anthony, Pat Malone, Bill West, Stefan Dill, Dimi DiSanti, Tony Cesarano, Claudio Perez, etcetera, AND Lewis Winn.

Among that tribe Lewis Winn does it all. From an arsenal of Fenders and fatbody guitars and even on the bass when the phone rings his ideas always reap rewards to those that listen. I’m saying his note choices and intuition are deep into the mysteries of pure improvisation, always.

I always laugh when 6-string gunslingers arrive from the East or West Coast thinking they’re going to blow away all the locals. Half the time we yawn in their faces we’ve been so spoiled with guitarists around these parts. And after these hotshots get a sniff of our guitarists they change their tune, chagrined.

And Michael Olivola is a veteran of scenes in San Francisco and NYC, Santa Fe, and is, again one among many of the fine bassists we have in the state. I can’t wait for you to hear how he keeps Lewis on his toes.

And Christmas tunes? They are so thunder-laden with pathos and nostalgia and gravitas and great melodies that jazzers have plenty to grab onto. It’s like Cecil Taylor told me many years ago, and this has become one of my guiding maxims: (paraphrased) Try to get to where that artist lives and inhabit that world that they are expressing, and you’ll be just that much more enriched.

Michael Olivola — bass | Lewis Winn — guitar | July 25, 2008 Albuquerque @ Bumble Bee Bob’s Baja Grill on Central Avenue (Rt.66) | Photos by Mark Weber | click the images to enlarge…

mark weber | six times around the sun | zerx 080


Zerx 080

Mark Weber — hubkaphone on all tracks

Dear Fellow Cult of the Hubcap Members,

Over the last 6 years I have been recording Hubkaphone duets with all you good people and finally I’m in the middle stages of mastering the CD.

Duets with Kazzrie Jaxen — piano, Alicia Ultan — viola, Patti Littlefield — voice, J.A. Deane — uni-flute and sampler, Beth Custer — clarinet, Lorenzo Sanguedolce — tenor saxophone, Bill Payne — clarinet, JB Bryan — alto sax, Lisa Polisar — flute

I am nearly ecstatic at how good it sounds and how far beyond it has catapulted my expectations. There is still quite some tweaking and massaging and twiddling to do on it, but wanted to alert you to its production.

It’s called SIX TIMES AROUND THE SUN (Zerx 080)

That’s a reference to how many years went into it. Stephen Schmidt is assisting me with the mastering and it’s coming along like a charm. 38 tracks. About 68 minutes. I intend to release it as a CDR in an unlimited edition of 200. Just for friends and confreres. I am blessed to have your friendship. — Mark Weber

All sessions at Studio 725, Albuquerque. All tracks unedited purely organic as they occurred. Release date: November 1, 2o11. Just a simple little record. No edits / no processing / no compression

  • 1. Kazzrie Jaxen — piano — “Piano-Hubcap Duet #7” — October 22, 2o10 — (5:56)
  • 2. Lisa Polisar — flute — “Flute-Hubcap Duet #2” — September 23, 2007 — (:39)
  • 3. Bill Payne — clarinet — “Hubclar #10” — December 17, 2005 — (1:15)
  • 4. JB Bryan — alto saxophone — “Improvisation # 1” — July 25, 2o11 — (3:54)
  • 5. Alicia Ultan — viola — “Duet #12” — December 9, 2006 — (:58)
  • 6. Patti Littlefield — voice — “Duet #2” — February 20, 2oo7 — (:54)
  • 7. J.A. Deane — live sampling — “Duet #4” — January 13, 2007 — ( 2:04)
  • 8. Beth Custer — clarinet — “Duet #2″ — December 26, 2006” — (:42)
  • 9. Lorenzo Sanguedolce — tenor saxophone — “Duet #8” — January 24, 2011 — (1:55)
  • 10. J.A. Deane — uni-flute — “Duet #4” — November 7, 2006 — (1:11)
  • 11. Lisa Polisar — flute — “Flute-Hubcap Duet #8” — September 23, 2007 — (1:17)
  • 12. Bill Payne — clarinet — “Hubclar #8″ — December 17, 2005” — (:59)
  • 13. Kazzrie Jaxen — piano — “Boogie #3” — October 22, 2010 — (4:54)
  • 14. Lorenzo Sanguedolce — “Duet #9” — January 24, 2011 — (1:57)
  • 15. Beth Custer — clarinet — “Duet #6” — December 26, 2006 — (:54)
  • 16. J.A. Deane — live sampling — “Duet #5” — January 13, 2007 — (1:42)
  • 17. Lisa Polisar — flute — “Flute-Hubcap Duet #7” — September 23, 2007 — (1:27)
  • 18. Alicia Ultan — viola — “Duet #7” — December 9, 2006 — (:20)
  • 19. Patti Littlefield — voice — “Duet #1” — February 20, 2007 — (:53)
  • 20. Kazzrie Jaxen — piano — “Piano-Hub Duet #6” — October 22, 2010 — (1:38)
  • 21. J.A. Deane — live sampling — “Duet #7” — January 13, 2007 — (1:38)
  • 22. Beth Custer — clarinet — “Duet #1” — December 26, 2006 — (:44)
  • 23. Lisa Polisar — flute — “Flute-Hubcap Duet #1” — September 23, 2007 — (1:08)
  • 24. Lorenzo Sanguedolce — tenor saxophone — “Duet #7” — January 24, 2011 — (2:32)
  • 25. JB Bryan — alto saxophone — “Improvisation #4” — July 25, 2011 — (2:35)
  • 26. Alicia Ultan — viola — “Duet #8” — December 9, 2006 — (:53)
  • 27. J.A. Deane — uni-flute — “Duet #8” — November 7, 2006 — (:34)
  • 28. Bill Payne — clarinet — “Hubclar #5” — December 17, 2005 — (2:43)
  • 29. Lisa Polisar — flute — “Flute-Hubcap Duet #3” — September 23, 2007 — (1:37)
  • 30. Alicia Ultan — viola — “Duet #11” — December 9, 2006 — (:34)
  • 31. Kazzrie Jaxen — piano — “Piano-Hub Duet #4” — October 22, 2010 — (1:45)*toward end of track the calico 18-year-old kitty Geminy meows up at Kazzrie wanting some attention
  • 32. Beth Custer — clarinet — “Duet #5” — December 26, 2006 — (:39)
  • 33. Kazzrie Jaxen — piano — “Boogie #2” — October 22, 2010 — (2:30) *telephone rings in background, unanswered
  • 34. Patti Littlefield — voice — “Duet #5” — February 20, 2007 — (1:14)
  • 35. J.A. Deane — uni-flute — “Duet #6” — November 7, 2006 — (:53)
  • 36. Beth Custer — clarinet — “Duet #4” — December 26, 2006 — (:36)
  • 37. Alicia Ultan — viola — “Duet #3” — December 9, 2006 — (:33)
  • 38. Kazzrie Jaxen — piano — “Piano-Hub Duet #5” — October 22, 2010 — (1:49)

This would be good music to paint by.

Background music while you painted abstracts or landscapes. Painted giraffes on the side of your car. Paint your fingernails. Paint over everything and start over again.

The title refers to the span of years that these recordings encompass. Six times we circled the Sun while these recordings were coming into existence. All the music was spontaneously improvised and composed within the moment, floating as we are, in space.

Even though we took this record through 6 versions of the production master we wound up going back to the raw tracks — we experimented with various compression(s) but they were not going to get the organic sound I wanted — so besides some minor manual adjustments to Loudness in some places and a little massaging of Left and Right channels, we decided for the most part to release this in the raw original form — in fact, in some cases we didn’t touch the hard Right and hard Left orientation of the tracks — SO, in a way, a person could take this CD and master it however they wanted. There was no compression used, which is unusual in a percussion record. This work was done at Fly On The Wall Studios on the mesa above the Santa Fe River by Steven Schmidt who rides the rapids of the Rio Grande in January and the Colorado River in August. I think he has those backwards.

Lisa Polisar | August 25, 2001 | Studio 725, Albuquerque | Photo by Mark Weber

All of the individual recording sessions up to Lisa Polisar’s (September 23, 2007) were mastered by Quincy Adams. He was too sick with cancer to work on Lisa’s, which is why you hear her session in glorious exaggerated stereo. (Q died on the last day of 2007.) The sessions would take place at my house (Studio 725) and then I’d take the recordings to Quincy to master. Each session was in the realm of one or two hours in length. None of this music has been released before, although, tracks from these sessions have found themselves on various other Zerx releases. Originally, I was working on a hubcap collage — Quincy and I worked on two of those for most of 2006 finally “realizing” it on February 14, 2007 released on ALBUZERXQUE Vol.27 as “Hubcap Narrative #1.” “HN #2” was more of a practice run at it, created concurrently with what became “HN #1.”

Then we started work on “HN #3” which incorporated words amongst the hubcap duets — I added the words at Quincy’s — merely words floating in between the duets, not over-dubbed — just a word or two, no sentences — it was in the experimental stages and was to be about 20 minutes in length just like “HN #1” but Quincy hung in as long as he could. So, “Hubcap Narrative #3” exists on the Zerx hard drive that is under a bookshelf these days. Never did finish it.

Jessa Fisher & Lorenzo Sanguedolce | January 24, 2o11 at Studio 725 | Photo by Mark Weber

You’ll note that track 16 actually begins with a sampled note, which comes before I play a note on the hubcaps, which is like putting the horse before the cart, but it’s a decision Quincy and I made in the editing and I live by my decisions.

The process of making the Production Master fell to Steven Schmidt and even the sequence fell to Steven as I read a magazine. I had already picked the first and second track but told him other than having the same artist too close together in the sequence I don’t think it really matters. I think we can convince ourselves that it does but that’s just the mind working overtime building up false temples. This record did not call for a dramatic or symphonic curve, it wasn’t about working toward a climax or denouement, it was about one long batch of individual duets all in a row.

As to Beth’s clarinet on this disk: Beth and her husband Federico were traveling through New Mexico during the holidays and we had them over for dinner or we went out to dinner, one. And later, we had a recording session and Beth borrowed my wife’s old Selmer Bb clarinet, as Beth wasn’t traveling with her instruments. Beth plays the entire clarinet family and is one of the great artists of arranging and clarinet out in San Francisco. Her records are very important. She works under the principle of constant rediscovery. She’s always fresh.

Kenny Davern giving Bill Payne some tips on a new fingering for high F |  Kenny’s place in Sandia Park, New Mexico | December 16, 2005 | Photo by Mark Weber

I think when Lisa was born she arrived with a piccolo in her little hands. She was born into a family of music educators on Cape Cod and she eventually matriculated at the Harrt School of Music, Connecticut, (where Jackie McLean was a teacher)(majored in Flute Performance) then moved to Albuquerque 1992 – 2007 where she gigged as a jazz flutist and was also a member of my MW Poetry Band. She now resides in Oakland, California, and is still my first call flutist. We miss her presence close by. Lisa is also a mystery novel author and has a flute method book in print: STRAIGHT AHEAD — A Musician’s Guide to Learning Jazz and Staying Inspired. (Around Oakland she is known as Lisa Towles.)

Alicia was also born into a musical family, her sisters are all violinists and cellists and her father is Lloyd Ultan the post-modern composer. That makes Alician a post- post-modernist. No, that wasn’t a typo, I’ve been calling her Alician for so long I forgot why. She’s a post- and present member of the MW Poetry Band.

Mark Weber & JB Bryan | August 28, 2o11 | Photo by Janet Simon

Bill Payne has that liquid chocolate burnished chalumeau sound that only clarinets in the most accomplished hands ever deliver. Same with Beth Custer. (I spent too many years listening to John Carter to listen to anything other than this sound.) The clarinet demands its full attention and both Bill and Beth focus all their powers upon it.

Patti has sang karaoke with Joni ( ! ) and is a jazz singer around Albuquerque and hails from Oklahoma but has lived in NYC and LA and some other places God only knows about. That was purely her idea to gurgle through a straw. She’s my cuz.

Lorenzo is a student of Connie Crothers and speaks four languages and has toured Europe with pianist Carol Liebowitz and is an elliptical sideways inside out thinker. Dynamic action.

JB is in possession of what the Buddhists call Beginners Mind. Would that we all could have that mind set. He is the publisher/editor of La Alameda Press and is the graphicologist for the Outpost Performance Space and is a painter of things only bees can see. (see JB’s design for Connie Crothers’ CD LIVE AT THE STONE.)

This is not the first hubcap record Dino and I have made. Way back in 1998 we made VEHICLE VORTEX VERTIGO which was a live performance for an art show opening where we played for five hours! I also used the hubkaphone in performance with our band The Bubbadinos. Dino and I have knocked out hundreds of projects together — performances, CDs, radio shots, and innumerable sessions untold, as yet — we were responsible for the Todd Moore magnum opus DILLINGER on Zerx Records.

Kazzrie Jaxen and her beloved Delaware River, Callicoon, New York, August 7, 2o11 | Photo by Mark Weber | click the smaller images to enlarge…

Kazzrie Jaxen hails from another planet as yet undiscovered in the universe. I think it is Perelandra (see C.S. Lewis 1943 novel) where very pleasant god-like people welcome you and feed you only the foods you need and take you to restful places next to rivers and swim in languid blues and greens and the trees all listen to you recite Rumi poetry and the roads twist and unravel through little valleys and villages and the dogs all speak English and you can have chocolate cookies all day long. Where manifestations of evil have never found a home.

As much as I owe to Henry Threadgill for his development of the hubkaphone my sound is completely different from what he took from it. I like a quiet, smooth, round sound. I’m the Paul Desmond of the hubkaphone. I’m not sure how Henry set up his hubcap array, but I borrowed the modular constructions that I had used when I was a member of the local gamelan orchestra (Gamelan Encantata under the direction of Jenny DeBouzek). My sound is more akin to what John Cage achieved in his 1946 “Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano,” almost a hollow, ancient, distant, bell tone that rings clear and translucent, like Gerry Mulligan says: “I like a sound you can see through.”

Alicia Ultan & Patti Littlefield | November 10, 2o11 | Photo by Mark Weber

Some of the patterns used I’ll call “3 + 1” or “4 + 1” where I do a repeat rhythm figure of 3 and the plus note is randomly changed. Easy. I don’t exactly go to what is known as groove, at least, not in the traditional manner. I like to break patterns, not out of contrariness, but simply because I see the patterns in randomness. The time feel is what Bobby Bradford calls “rubber band time,” it expands and contracts. Although, you could probably make an argument that it’s all strongly related to 4, being that I am particularly hard-wired to 4/4. Or, as saxophonist Bill Plake says: “multiples of 2.”

Whatever it is, it’s not that complicated, mostly fun, like Horace Silver says, it’s the complicated music that’s easy to write, the simple stuff takes a little more time to get it right.

Mark Weber & J.A. Deane | September 25, 2011 | Photo by Janet Simon

SO, we continue to circle the Sun and the hubkaphone experiments continue to unfold (recent session here at 725 with guitarist Adam Caine and drummer Federico Ughi) and we continue to morph and reinvent ourselves — Kazzrie after years of study with Lennie Tristano — J.A. Deane in the horn section of Ike & Tina Turner (he’s on NUTBUSH CITY LIMITS) and many years with Butch Morris and even a little shot with Anthony Braxton — Bill Payne fourteen years on the road with Ringling Brothers Barnam & Bailey Circus — Alician backing up Linda Ronstadt — Lorenzo gigging with Michael Bisio — JB in his adobe tea house in the Sandia Mountains — Beth crossing the Golden Gate to play with her notorious clarinet choir — my esteemed Kindred Spirits of the Hubcap circling the Sun.

—Mark Weber | November 17, 2o11

Steven Schmidt at Fly on the Wall Studios, Santa Fe | October 22, 2o11 | Photo by Mark Weber

mark weber | adam caine & federico ughi live on albuquerque yacht club

Carol Leibowitz, piano | Adam Caine, guitar | jam session at Carol’s studio on 103rd & Broadway, New York City, August 9, 2o11 | Photo by Mark Weber

ALBUQUERQUE YACHT CLUB | Host Mark Weber | November 3, 2011 | 12:06 Noon THURSDAY | KUNM 89.9 FM & streaming on web > | Current time zone offset: UTC/GMT -6 hours

Live in-studio music from
Adam Caine — guitar | Federico Ughi — drums

…..both from NYC traveling through on U.S. tour joined by local hotshot COLIN DEUBLE on upright bass for the broadcast.

Whereas the world is made up of people who operate themselves via a conglomeration of second-hand responses and action/reaction mirror reflections of the General Rule, all looked over and supervised by the Central Scrutinizer, making sure we have been boiled down to the lowest common denominator, Adam Caine has so far escaped that fate and is wheeling his way toward New Mexico over the asphalt back corridors. A thoroughly inventive and intuitive musician who was introduced to me by Connie Crothers, with whom he studies aesthetics and philosophy. (She’s a music teacher in Brooklyn and my favorite pianist)(along with 4 other “favorite pianists”).

Brother Caine and I collaborated on a CD a few years ago called Two Afternoons, Two Days, Two Something….. Two Different Rain Storms? . . . I forgot what we called it, but it was good. I’ve not heard Federico before but his credentials are impressive and there’s nothing like a drumset that’s been around the world three times. Colin is all over town and a regular on my radio show and when Brother Caine asked about me finding a bass player, “what about that guy that played with Nick (Lyons, alto) on your show a couple years ago?” We all knew that the pulse and harmonic knowledge of Mr Deuble was the knowing ingredient.

This broadcast is preview of their concert this evening (Nov. 3) at The Projects, 3614 High Street NE, Albuquerque (short hop north of Candelaria) on a double-bill with Thin Air Trio 7:30 a great venue and great vibe.

Much more on Federico Ughi can be found on his web page by clicking here… and via his record label 577 Records. Visit Adam Caine  here…

mark weber | it starts here

Mark Weber | after swim in Delaware River at Callicoon, New York | Photo by Kazzrie Jaxen


Please Note: Please put the cursor over the highlighted names in this poem and you will see what will happen. Same works for the image gallery at the end of this poem.

walking along
just walking
with my yoga bag slung over my shoulder
walking to yoga class
so pleasant
here in this world

it’s almost like being in a reverie


the undulating visions of Thomas Hart Benton
begat the hallucinogenic panoramas of Z.Z. Wei
remindful of Marsden Hartley
begat my fattened eye

the electrified impasto landscapes of Louisa McElwain

the other-worldliness of Sharon Feder’s Denver with stark
grain elevators and abandoned gas stations

the darkened aspen forests of Forrest Moses’s canvas
the quietude of a Robert Striffolino forest, stricken
in the canopy by sunlight

the protective cooing of yoga teachers
every morning all over America
like poetry the things they say:
Ahdo mukha svanasana
Parivrtta ardha chandrasana
Viparita karani
“Extend your heart through your fingertips”
“Breathe deeply like the clouds”
“Who is God? (Kabir was asked) He is the breath and
the breath inside the breath”
“Hopefully, we can fall into the mystery, rather
than be so concerned with mastery”

I walk home and by chance stop in a second-hand store
(second hand?) and find a June Christy album that
I’ve always wanted to hear, that has arrangements by
the mystic Bill Holman, way out in California, on the
Pacific Rim

(It has been said that poetry strives for the conditions
of music, but, I would more hope the sense that I get from
paintings be in poems — as Kandinsky has pointed out: music
needs a span of time to achieve its effects, but a painting
needs only an instant)

the breath within the breath
the color within the color
the shadow doppelganger jumps into you and back out

calm is the condition that best suits me

second hand calm
hand me down calm
recycled calm

June Christy floating on the magic carpet of a jazz big band
whispering “Good-Bye” with Bob Cooper, tenor saxophone

What is that fantastical poem by Charles Reznikoff
he is out for a stroll
and a stray dog joins him?
It’s been years since I feasted my eyes upon it, that
poem knocked me out —
I can heartily recommend Charles Reznikoff —
have I ever given you a bum steer?

. . . just another walking poem

I come to Central Avenue, old Rt.66, and
wait a minute to cross, wait for the traffic, standing
at the corner where the Zia Motor Lodge used
to be —
vacant lot, old slabs of concrete foundations
where the cottages stood, seems
in the past year 4 or 5 of the old motor courts
have gone under the bulldozer, sad
things fall down, change —
mostly sad to
remember the post-war hopefulness
that pervaded the U.S. those years, there was such promise
in the air,
almost naive, really, blessed — that’s
what comes to mind
when I see those motor courts, that
era where everything seemed possible — (over-looking
for the moment the paranoia of McCarthy HUAC and those
gray days of conformity)

The thing I won’t miss someday
is telephone poles — but, even they
can seem nostalgic —

Still, some number of the old motor courts
remain in Albuquerque, I have been standing here
with ghosts
much too long, certainly
the traffic comes from another world, ancient, I am
not at a crosswalk, although
jaywalking this moment
seems myriad and effortless
summer vacations
apple pies . . .

Staying home and listening to records | first printing * September 2oll | 300 copies. *Long poem about walking composed between September 6-18. Some of the internal poems within it are from earlier in 2oll. *A11 poems from 2oll. Page 14 — February 8 & 9. bottom of page 12 — February 13. page 17 — March 21 & 22. page 16 — April 28. page 15 — May 2. page 13 — May 9. page 18 — June 1. *photo of Zia Motor Lodge, north-east corner of Central & Madison by MW June 14 w/former White’s Dept Store. *art & squiggles by MW. *frontispiece photo of author 7augll by Kazzrie Jaxen after swim in Delaware River at Callicoon, New York. *some of these poems have appeared in singular versions in KE5TRA, PEARL, BIG HAMMER, MALPAIS REVIEW, MAS TEQUILA REVIEW, and possibly NERVE COWBOY, and dear old MINOTAUR and at METROPOLIS website and at Lisa Polisar’s blog site. (c)2011 Mark Weber. | Zerx Press, 725 Van Buren Place SE, Albuquerque NM 87108

& Nothing But The Zone | First printing. 300 copies. September 2011. Zerx chap # 68. Cover illustration: “Zweeeet! bwiff, bonnnk!”— JB Bryan ink on paper. Frontispiece: JB Bryan studio. | Copyright © 2011 by JB Bryan. All Rites Reversed. Zerx Press 725 Van Buren Place SE Albuquerque NM 87108

mark weber | some notes regarding our new chapbook: staying home and listening to records by myself and backed with & nothing but the zone by jb bryan (zerx 68)

JB Bryan and Mark Weber

I ask JB some questions about his ZONE:

JB, tell us about the construction of the poem that purports to be from the notes of the late Gus Blaisdell — I’m presuming some or maybe all of the words are yours (?) and/or you worked in the manner of late-period Ray Carver where he would take paragraphs of Chekhov and re-cast them into poem form, which I thought was brilliant idea. SO, in what ways did you re-purpose Gus’s writings? But, first, tell us who Gus Blaisdell was and his magnificent bookstore. I didn’t know Gus very well — I certainly hung out in his shop when this town was a bookstore town before Borders and Barnes & Noble came in and killed them — but, I did know Gus well enough to have him accost me on the street to rail against various pet peeves of his, like jazz music he thought was too conventional, or some local political ideology that was out of my realm. I remember he walked out on the Instant Composers Pool at the Outpost in disgust. Never did figure that out because ICP is one of the great bands on the planet at this time. BUT, I never knew Gus had designs on being a writer?

JB Bryan and Mark Weber

JB: this is a rather loaded question! when i pulled into albuquerque in the early 70s the Living Batch was in what is now the second room of the Frontier Restaurant. it had everything i liked in literati bookstore culture. i didn’t work there then, but i loved to shop there. used books and new. at the time i was going to UNM and was firing ab-ex raku pieces in the vein of Peter Voulkos and Paul Soldner. due to heartbreak i decided to move to southern California. i was in the Living Batch around this time and chatting, Gus told me to check out Acres of Books in Long Beach. it was one of the reasons i ended up going to Long Beach State. i won’t go into all the pyscho details of my surf dreams nor the other sordid aspects. you don’t need to know all of my secrets. i do have to admit i realized i wasn’t cut out for California. too crowded. i have a work history of old school paste up & layout. i had a school job of production work on the Long Beach State 49er, i then got a part-time job in Downey for a Thrifty Nickle thing. i quit in horror. i then applied at the Chelsea Bookstore which had opened. nobody has really written a history about bookstore business during this period. affordable paperbacks, astute editors, and an eager readership. Chelsea Bookstore was a fine store in an old bungalow, i believe on Cherry. i left around 75 back to New Mexico. i seemed to have missed the burgeoning Long Beach poetry scene. my degree was in journalism & public relations and my interest was in non-profit counterculture. a quaint oxymoron i still find myself. back in Albuquerque i worked in a paperback bookstore in Eastdale, then White Oak in downtown. when an opportunity arose at The Batch i took it. now it had expanded into the third room of what is now Frontier, but then Frontier wanted the whole block. we move to what used to be Bennie’s Billiards next door. i remember painting the walls white and doing a carpet shampoo. a huge community event took place where a bucket brigade handed books from one building to the next. shelves were emptied and the shelves brought next door to restock. everything went smoothly and then there was beer. The Living Batch was once Grasshopper Books started by Phil Mayne. Pancho & Mike Elliston bought whatever they bought and renamed it after the horse in Ed Dorn’s poem Gunslinger. “Por nada./ I is now an organ Ization / a pure containment / He has become a Five, Gallon, Can I is now a living Batch Me heard you the First time the Slinger nodded thats a Very interesting tautology.” the horse being the container for a massive supply of LSD. (page 37 of my original Book 2). Gus Blaisdell bought whatever he bought from the Ellistons. i ended up working at The Batch from 1979 until 1994.

Gus was a formidable intellect. originally from San Diego and the son of an admiral. Charles Augustus Blaisdell II, b. 1935 – in the 12th generation of Blaisdells in America. (“descendants of Ralf Bleasdale – who landed at Pemaquid, Maine, August 14, 1635, on the Angel Gabriel sailing ship.”) i don’t know his early years except that he went to Stanford and was part of the writing program at the time in 1958, Wallace Stegner Fellows, with Edward Abbey, Larry McMurtry, Robert Stone, Ernest Gaines, Tillie Olsen, and Ken Kesey. also connected with many in the San Francisco Renaissance, and especially book men like Peter Howard, and Jack Shoemaker. i believe he veered off into philosophy and mathematics instead of literature, still he knew a shitload of people “from the day.” i think he moved to New Mexico to take a job as editor at the Univeristy of New Mexico Press. one of his claims to fame is the publication of WAY TO RAINY MOUNTAIN by N. Scott Momaday. seems mr. Momaday was also at Stanford. after moving to New Mexico, Gus became friends with Robert Creeley who was then teaching at Albuquerque Academy. much of this outside my true knowledge, but one tidbit revolves around a heated argument at a local bar Oakie Joe’s where Gus broke Creeley’s nose. there is a whole history of wild days in Albuquerque in the 60s, which also includes Creeley in Placitas, and the hippie literati scene around the Thunderbird Bar there. i can’t tell it.

my relationship with Gus was more about myrmidon* and employer. i was devoted to the bookstore and put up with Gus. he ordered us around without doing much work himself. oftentimes he was nasty and mean, also he could be hilarious going off on Lord Buckley type rants which left me laughing so hard i’d purt near piss in my pants. many people would come into the store to engage him or go off for coffee to talk. many people would not go into the store out of fear of him or despising him. he could be quite ghastly to some, especially parents who let their little kids run around. The Living Batch had poetry readings and booksignings galore. wow, i met a lot of people who were my heroes. working there was sort of a vow of poetry, not much money but an atmosphere of good books and both writers and customers who appreciated it all. besides all the glory though was tedious gruntwork of making the store actually operate. in the early days, The Batch didn’t have a phone. i worked there before computers. our inventory system was like a library with cards for books and their history which needed to be relentlessly checked. for many years we were also had a used section and people where always coming in to sell books. i was the book buyer and rifled through countless ragged, moldy boxes picking out what might be worthwhile. there is a lot of interpersonal history and drama of the many people who worked there. some of it quite sad. i ended up an integral staff member, manager for awhile even. Gus and i had a good relationship because i have some repartee skills and would talk back to the boss. also i supplied the sound system with good music tapes from my record collection. as you know he was a jazz nut and a Thelonious Monk devotee. later he went to the very “out” side of things and liked Peter Brotzmann, David Ware, Charles Gayle, etc. which fit in with his desire to be on a very edgy edge. all this time he was also teaching film studies at UNM and writing critical essays.

after 15 years at The Batch i needed to move on. i won’t go into all the details. once i no longer worked there, Gus and i began getting together for lunch now and then. i had started La Alameda Press and was trying to be a graphic designer. he hired me to do the production on books for his Living Batch Press. several of those books are classics, ARK by Ronald Johnson, NOW IT’S JAZZ by Clark Coolidge. one of our shared passions was for Henri Matisse (he also loved japanese prints, Cezanne, S. Clay Wilson, especially the Checkered Demon). later he would gift me his two volume set of the book on Matisse by Louis Aragon. he liked my paintings, although the landscapes bored him. he could talk about painting, not just as an authority but as someone who really dug the goop. lots of people wanted his approval and i have to admit that i appreciated him giving me positive feedback. all of what i have said so far is sketchy and doesn’t do him justice nor does it adequately explain the negative energy he could dish out. whew. for awhile he and i would sit together in concerts at Outpost and he would be muttering vile things if he didn’t approve. when Hal Galper played there Gus sneered through the first set, then looked at me and said something to the effect: “Errol Garner By the Sea, do we need more of that shit?” and walked out. yet he adored Steve Lacy. i don’t remember any comments about ICP but i can imagine that they didn’t fit in with his sense of “out” or edge. ICP are brilliant but in a cohesive pastiche of many styles, manic but not maniacs. i think Gus championed the crazy iconoclast.

as i mentioned, he and i often had lunch. we talked books. his only published books are two thin poetry volumes. most of his published writings are introductions for others, or film criticism. many might say that he was too critical for his own good. still he thought of himself as a poet and he spoke of projects he was engaged in, doing research for, as if they were imminent. one was a book called LOQUAT and supposedly revolved around the tree, fruit, and history. but another was to be called RED STUDIO and would be homage to the Matisse painting, one of his most radical. he spoke of it at lunch when we got together to celebrate our birthdays one September. a few hours later he died of a massive heart attack walking to his car in the Frontier parking lot. i wondered about the manuscript for RED STUDIO, then Nicole, his daughter, found a folder marked “red studio” in a filing cabinet. she gave it to me but alas there were only a bunch of sheets with scribbled notes and numerous articles. it should be explained that Gus was notorious for a very scratchy, tight scrawl which most of us at The Batch couldn’t make out. what became apparent to me was that most of the book Gus talked about had been in his head. i also think he incorporated his interest in color theory into an essay for the painter Guy Williams. my poem “Red Studio” is perhaps an homage to Gus, as well as riffing off Matisse and the painting itself. i think more poets should riff off of paintings, especially those of their friends.

as both a painter and a poet i like to riff on my own work. i think i tend toward artist statements, manfestoes, or trying to explain my process. there is a process, there is always gruntwork, there is willpower to make it happen. notebooks, sketchbooks, scraps of paper with doodles or jottings are all part of the process. i have my own collection of indecipherable notes. i don’t teach, but if did i might want to teach Studio 101 which is: get a studio, set it up, go into it often and make something. keep going. results will happen. i don’t teach but i took my advice and did what i had to do to acquire a house in Placitas, New Mexico, just up the road from where Robert Creeley lived in the 60s. the village is funky real and my studio has a peculiar handmade charm. built originally for the dancer Lee Connor, it is essentially one big room with high ceiling and wooden floors on big joists. springy. Lee died there as an early AIDS victim, i now believe it is haunted with his spirit. i feel i am supposed to be its the artistic director and caretaker. my own path as an artist coincided with making the house into my studio. i will die happy.

i just realized that i mispelled it “undecipherable” in the epigram and so now must feel bad about another typo. i will die unhappy.

MW: “Myrmidons” ?

JB: Gus would sometimes come into the store and exclaim “Good morning, my darling myrmidons!” to us who were doing the actual work. i just looked it up and like what Wikipedia says “The Myrmidons of Greek myth were known for their skill in battle and loyalty to their leaders, so that in pre-industrial Europe the word “myrmidon” carried many of the same connotations that “robot” does today. Myrmidon later came to mean “hired ruffian” (according to the Oxford English Dictionary) or “a loyal follower, especially one who executes orders without question, protest, or pity – unquestioning followers.” it also shows the etymology from Classical Greek: murmedon, ant’s nest. but also realize that some wag on the staff might have replied: “Greetings, Lord Pumpkin!” this might then have caused Lord Pumpkin into some mimicry as Captain PissGums vs. the nefarious pirate Ruby the Dyke from S. Clay Wilson. Gus liked repartee and instigation of his wit.

JB Bryan and Mark Weber

MW: SO, speaking in terms of actual construction of your poem “The Red Studio” how were the words come upon? Where did you find the words — were you doing like Todd Moore and putting yourself inside of Gus’s head, in the same way Todd went inside John Dillinger’s head?

JB: i keep a lot of little notebooks filled with my own scratchy scrawls. some things entered are found texts, quotes, paraphrases, but also all those musings which bubble up. i keep one in the car because oddities occur and i need to jot them down or else they are lost. i’ve lost a lot of real genius thoughts because they zoomed right through my head. i’m probably a notebook collagist in the tradition of kerouac, whalen, and others. notebooks are a lot like ouija boards or seance devices. i like Jack Spicer’s term “martian radio”. i also collect things online and put them into files on my computer. i do research too. i have a lot of folders with collected material. these are magazine articles, pictures, debris that accumulates around an idea for a painting, sometimes it works for poems. i am interested in artist’s statements and journals. there is a long history of painters trying to explain the craft and the mystery. the book MATISSE ON ART edited by Jack Flam has incredible responses by The Maestro. as for the inside of Gus’s head, i don’t think i want to go there except to present something he might be amused by. i believe lots of people yearned for his approval, or else to cause a demented twinkle in his eye. you certainly didn’t want him to tell you that you’re full of shit. i can attest to that from much personal experience.

but how do we come upon the words or the final line? something strange happens in the poetic process. another kind of zone where language acts like a magnet. i chop things up, rearrange, look for a better word, find a narrative, link that with something else. perhaps i don’t have a coherent plan at the outset, but i get pleasure from surprises. Bobby Louise Hawkins has an anecdote about peeking in at Robert Creeley hunched over his manual typewriter giggling to himself. one can only imagine what was coursing through his imagination.

MW: Tell us about the title “Zweeeet! Bwiff, bonnnk ! “ that you gave your cover graphic.

JB: i’m 60 years old. my formative years were influenced by a number of factors. when i was old enough to take off on my bicycle, i’d pedal down to Kiburz Drugstore in Des Moines where they had a soda fountain and comic book rack. at first my interest was in the usual Batman, Superman stuff, but then i noticed MAD Magazine. i would say this is what blew my mind and i’ve been demented ever since. MAD probably had a lot of satire which went right by me, yet every artist included in its pages inspired me to draw. one could study a variety of styles from narrative brilliance of Jack Davis to incredibly twisted monsters by Basil Wolverton, but the most influential for me was Don Martin. he’d have me laughing out loud. partly from the vignette itself as well as the looks on the character’s face, yet there were always some kind of action which had written sound effects. onomatopoeia of the highest order. of course i didn’t know that word then, still i GOT it! bulging eyes, bulbous noses, and long hinged feet were also signature aspects of his style. i believe Don Martin saved my life or at least enable me to survive junior high school. i began drawing DM characters and acquired a reputation for my doodled up class notebooks. when the Kool Kidz ran for student body elections i was often invited to parties to help make posters. even tho i was rather oddball, my imagination & wit set me apart from being a target of torment.

you also have to take into effect that in the late 50s and early 60s how much american culture was filled with beatnik clichés. of course i didn’t know that word yet then either. television was filled with some kind of artsy hipster from the noir hangouts of Peter Gunn to parking lot attendant Kookie Byrnes to the iconic Maynard G. Krebs. “You rang?” or when anyone at Dobie Gillis’ father’s grocery store would mention work, Maynard would recoil in horror “WoRK!!?” also he was always pounding his school desk like bongos. even tho the Beat Generation wasn’t even on my radar then i now can see how the fictional characters of beatnikism influenced me.

in my poem “Dragon Painting” of our little book are the lines:

i feel my hand making a picture
black swipes of loaded skunk hair
flying white turns into rat fink chortle
leaping dragon startled by clairvoyance
charmp gluk chomf chonk yatz PWANG!

the last line references Don Martin but the phrase “rat fink chortle” points to my other great inspiration then: Big Daddy Roth. at the same time i was reading MAD, i was also building model cars and going to Kustom Kar shows when they came to town. at one there was a big guy doing airbrushed sweatshirts. he had a goatee and he was drawing/painting these shirts right and left with wild intensity and skill. i somehow had some money to buy one. he did “Mother’s Worry” on the back and then asked me my name. i said Jeff Bryan and he wrote on the front “JB the Great.” ooowee, i wore that shirt all the time and that’s how i came about my nickname which has stuck to this day. but Big Daddy Roth was also Kustom Kar genius, truly a sculptor of the highest order. he would make a car from the ground up with chrome chassis, big hot rod engine, and then mold fiberglass into all sorts of modernistic, futuristic body shapes. one car was called “Beatnik Bandit” with a bubble top and big whitewall tires and another “Outlaw” which was the model T hot rod taken to a stylish apogee. and so many others were just incredible designs. these were recognized then as brilliant and Revell hired him to make model car versions of them. Revell also noticed the t-shirt designs and had Big Daddy Roth come up with some model kits of these monsters. they became very popular. one of the designs became his trademark and it was this giant fat thing called Rat Fink. it had a twisted long snout, eyes which stuck out its sockets, and wirey tail wrapped around its flappy feet, plus it was surrounded by big buzzing flies. it looked like it was laughing at some really weird joke or watching some Chevy monster swinging an axe at an enemy Ford. Rat Fink is a mythological beast similar to dragon lore or Mesoamerican bird snakes. Big Daddy Roth has left the planet, but Rat Fink is still around in the hearts and minds of many. or at least mine.

MW: Maybe this is sort of off-topic but I’ve been thinking of Allen Ginsberg lately. I remember the first time I read such an unusual word order was when I bought the LP on Fantasy of Allen’s HOWL — I can exactly remember where I was when I read his liner notes on the back — I was 17 and in my room at my parent’s house in Upland, California — and, in fact, I didn’t completely understand the words or the language he was using, it hit me like a tornado it was so impacted, dense with stacked verbs, stacked nouns and adjectives, but very alive, on fire, and open-hearted. That whole beatnik scattershot run-on sentences, cast fate to the wind wild hoot & travel fast enjambments be tossed and turned. Were you able to understand that literature quickly? Allen’s in particular.

JB: i am not sure when i got a copy of HOWL. in retrospect i see a zigzag hopscotch of finding those things i was hoping for to lift me out of a conventionalism which i felt oppressive. i increasingly began to feel like i wanted something else. i see now how much California itself had a cultural allure or perhaps, lure. i made a skateboard out of a 2×4 and metal rollerskates. i began to buy Surfer magazine which had Murph the Surf comix by Rick Griffin, who’s style i began to emulate. i built a “good” skateboard from hardwood board and fitted out with composition rollers. i was heavily into the Beach Boys, Jan & Dean, Ventures, hot rod music etc. but beginning to hear another kind of rock & roll on the radio. i really didn’t know jazz at all, except big band stuff which seemed quite square. “bop” was a word which was more about Eddie Cochran or Gene Vincent. we had some good rock & roll stations in Des Moines, and the Val-Aire Ballroom was bringing the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis. alas, i was too young to go.

in 1964 i went to the Boy Scout jamboree at Valley Forge and we had field trip to New York City. we went to the World’s Fair, Radio City Music Hall, Chinatown, and walked the streets. WOW. this was during the British Invasion too. somehow during this trip i heard the Rolling Stones. that first album is still good! one hates to admit getting turned onto the blues by them, but “I’m a King Bee” did it for me. i think i first got drunk in 1965 at a friend’s house where we were sleeping over and playing poker and raided his parent’s liquor cabinet. i’m pretty sure i got quite sick.

Nowadays nobody wants to talk about Vietnam. i started paying attention in my teens and i didn’t like what i saw on Walter Cronkite. i certainly didn’t have much understanding but the draft seemed like a load of crap. 1964 to 69 were years of increasing strangeness for me. i was a teenager in a provincial town yet knowing that a political shitstorm was going on. Des Moines has Drake University there and in its dogtown was a headshop which sold posters, paraphenalia, and books. i lived nearby and started visiting it’s den of iniquity. it was probably there that i got HOWL, as well as Kerouac and Gary Snyder. of course ON THE ROAD made a huge impression but DHARMA BUMS really got me. & dare i say that the photo of Gary Snyder on the cover of RIPRAP might have been some kind of catalyst.

when i think of Allen Ginsberg i think of him with a beard and a cardboard Uncle Sam hat. nobody was as important to me tho as Bob Dylan. man, Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” was critical. i probably had the 45 first, with “Gates of Eden” on the B side. that’s the poetry which i first responded to. when i started buying albums his were my favorites. they still are. his liner notes on BRINGING IT ALL BACK HOME and HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED are terrific. i just went and looked at them again and of course they are probably influenced by HOWL. but Ginsberg was also hanging around Dylan then because he recognized what was going on. am i the only person who thinks TARANTULA is a great book? discovering the power of poetry– how could we not have become psychedelic?


i mean what’s a person to do with: “On the slow train time does not interfere and at the Arabian crossing waits White Heap, the man from the newspaper and behind him the hundred Inevitables made of solid rock and stone—the Cream Judge and the Clown—the doll house where Savage Rose and Fixable live simply in their wild animal luxury…. Autumn, with two zeros above her nose arguing over the sun being dark or Bach is as famous as its commotion and that she herself—not Orpheus—is the logical poet “I am the logical poet!” she screams “Spring? Spring is only the beginning!’ she attempts to make Cream Judge jealous by telling him of down-to-earth people and while the universe is erupting, she points to the slow train and prays for rain and for time to interfere—she is not extremely fat but rather progressively unhappy…. The hundred Inevitables hide their predictions and go to bars and drink and get drunk in their very special conscious way and when tom dooley, the kind of person you think you’ve seen before, comes strolling in with White Heap, the hundred Inevitables all say “who’s that man who looks so white?” and the bartender, a good boy and one who keeps a buffalo in his mind, says “I don’t know, but I’m sure I’ve seen the other fellow someplace” and when Paul Sargent, a plain-clothes man from 4th street, comes in at three in the morning and busts everybody for being incredible, nobody really gets angry—just a little illiterate most people get and Rome, one of the hundred Inevitables whispers “I told you so” to Madame John…. Savage Rose and Fixable are bravely blowing kisses to Jade Hexagram-Carnaby Street and to all the mysterious juveniles and the Cream Judge is writing a book on the true meaning of a pear—last year, he wrote one of famous dogs of the civil war and now he has false teeth and no children…. when the Cream met Savage Rose and Fixable, he was introduced to them by none other than Lifelessness—Lifelessness is the Great Enemy and always wears a hip guard—he is very hipguard…. Lifelessness said when introducing everybody “go save the world” and “involvement! that’s the issue” and things like that and Savage Rose winked at Fixable and the Cream went off with his arm in a sling singing “summertime and the Livin is easy”…. the Clown appears—puts a gag over Autumn’s mouth and says “there are two kinds of people—simple people and normal people” this usually gets a big laugh from the sandpit and White Heap sneezes—passes out and rips open Autumn’s gag and says “What do you mean you’re Autumn and without you there’d be no spring! you fool! without spring, there’d be no you! what do you think of that???.” then Savage Rose and Fixable come by and kick him in the brains and color him pink for being a phony philosopher—the then Clown comes by and screams “You phony philosopher!” and jumps on his head—Paul Sargent comes by again in an umpire’s suit and some college kid who’s read all about Nietzsche comes by and says “Nietzsche never wore and umpire’s suit” and Paul says “You wanna buy some clothes, kid?” and then Rome and John come out of the bar and they’re going up to Harlem…. we are singing today of the WIPE-OUT GANG—the WIPE-OUT GANG buys, owns and operates the Insanity Factory—if you do not know where the Insanity Factory is located, you should hereby take two steps to the right, paint your teeth and go to sleep…. the songs on this specific record are not so much songs but rather exercises in tonal breath control…. the subject matter—tho meaningless as it is—has something to do with the beautiful strangers…. the beautiful strangers, Vivaldi’s green jacket and the holy slow train you are right john cohen—quazimodo was right—Mozart was right…. I cannot say the word eye anymore…. when I speak this word eye, it is as if I am speaking of somebody’s eye that I faintly remember….there is no eye—there is only a series of mouths—long live the mouths—your rooftop—if you don’t already know—has been demolished….eye is plasma and you are right about that too—you are lucky—you don’t have to think about such things as eyes and rooftops and quazimodo.”

I’ve been trying to get JB to collaborate on a Zerx chap with me for ten years. As involved as he is in so many various artistic endeavors I think of him primarily as a writer of poems. So, when he finally said Yes, and then immediately came through on deadline I had to hurry and cobble together a bunch of odds & ends for my side of the book and get it to the printer before he changed his mind. Not that he changes his mind, often.

JB is from Iowa or Nebraska I keep forgetting which. Though he’s been in New Mexico over 40 years, it’s easy to forget those other places. He keeps a home in town, that he and his wife Cirrelda built themselves in the Alameda, and his painting studio is in a little mountain village north of Albuquerque where he spends two or three days of the week painting and meditating and tending to his fruit trees. He has an adobe tea house on the property and a couple old trucks and a perfect view of El Cabezon, the ancient basaltic lava neck of a volcano. He is a musician, printer, publisher, “graphicologist” for the Outpost Performance Space, a champion of Philip Whalen, Lew Welch, and all the West Coast beatnik era poets, and mostly a painter, and even more so, to my way of thinking: A poet in the old way.

. . . . . back when New Mexico was inhabited by eccentrics, hermits, oddballs, and outlaws, charlatans and pilgrims and donkeys and mustangs, Volkswagens and El Caminos, dodgy pot heads, Turkish pipe smugglers, typewriterless poets, iconoclasts of every stripe, apple worshippers . . .

so many apples in the mountain villages
so many dreams in the chimneys
crystal smoking, the Rio’s lazy waters
the adobe knees of plenitude
vegetable gardens of eternity
you come to New Mexico to recreate yourself
to leave behind who you once were . . . . .

JB had suggested we both explore painting in this double-chap but for various reasons I never got around to doing that, at least, not directly. I kinda wanted to riff of of various famous paintings but I think Gerald Locklin has staked out that territory, so I just decided to write about walking, sort of.

JB Bryan in his studio in Placitas, New Mexico  October 11, 2oo9 | Photo by Mark Weber

So many of my poems over the last ten years are “uncollected,” having appeared in periodicals and the littles and none of my friends see those magazines and with one thing and another this quick little collaboration offered an opportunity to grab some of those uncollected poems and put them in this collection I decided to call STAYING HOME AND LISTENING TO RECORDS, for obvious reasons.

While pondering the title, I fondly recall one of my all-time favorite titles, Henry Miller’s SUNDAY AFTER THE WAR. What a great title. He followed that with THE SMILE AT THE FOOT OF THE LADDER which is okay, and I suspect he’d been looking at Marcel Duchamp readymades, or Jean Arp. But this title didn’t have the gravitas of SUNDAY. With a poetry book you’ve got to watch that the gravitas doesn’t over-pour into the maudlin. S. Clay Wilson did a great send-up on the subject in one of his larger graphics, with poets boiling in the waters of their own anxieties, he called “Poets in Hell.” Another guy who had the knack for titling his books was Richard Brautigan. What a great writer he was.

The more I write the more I see through grammar — not that I detect any fallacies with the tenses and cases and conventions of punctuation, or that the spelling of words is not a good thing, it’s just that there is no proper spelling as far as I’m concerned (have you read Chaucer lately?). And tenses can be spun around like a Calder mobile — in other words: you see through grammar like looking through a window.

It becomes more elastic – the words can be bent in all kinds of directions.

I love grammar.

Admittedly, my free hand with grammar probably only works when balanced against the conventions. Quite similar to how Lester Young’s saxophone lines relied on his band mates to stay home, to stay put, to hold the fort, while he slipped in and out of key and time. As a writer I don’t exactly have the luxury of incorrect spellings simply because when I do use an unconventional spelling or word arrangement I want the reader to know I did it on porpoise.

It used to be that new evolutions in syntax was the domain of poets, that poems were where all those developments took place. I’m not so sure that’s the case anymore. Seems that emails and “texting” are making innovations in grammar these days. Where the written word is being streamlined and supercharged.

BUT, I’m old-fashioned, I still like a book, a tree, a bottle of grape, and a river: me leaning against a tree with a book taking a swig of devine juice every other page and watching the river, the clouds, toss a stick in . . . .

Belladonna & Spearmint Tea | Painting by JB Bryan

‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.’

And Verna Flake in the novel THE CHINCHLLA FARM by Judith Freeman (page 18):

After a while I said, “I’m getting a divorce”

“A new horse?” Fannie said slowly. “That’ll be nice. You’ve always loved horses

haven’t you?”

I couldn’t see any point in correcting her. Really, the thing was just said to test It, to say it aloud, and it was perhaps better that Aunt Fannie didn’t know.

AND like the Buddha says: to look behind the words to understand what is actually being said.

—Mark Weber | October 8, 2o11

Staying home and listening to records | first printing * September 2oll | 300 copies. *Long poem about walking composed between September 6-18. Some of the internal poems within it are from earlier in 2oll. *A11 poems from 2oll. Page 14 — February 8 & 9. bottom of page 12 — February 13. page 17 — March 21 & 22. page 16 — April 28. page 15 — May 2. page 13 — May 9. page 18 — June 1. *photo of Zia Motor Lodge, north-east corner of Central & Madison by MW June 14 w/former White’s Dept Store. *art & squiggles by MW. *frontispiece photo of author 7augll by Kazzrie Jaxen after swim in Delaware River at Callicoon, New York. *some of these poems have appeared in singular versions in KE5TRA, PEARL, BIG HAMMER, MALPAIS REVIEW, MAS TEQUILA REVIEW, and possibly NERVE COWBOY, and dear old MINOTAUR and at METROPOLIS website and at Lisa Polisar’s blog site. (c)2011 Mark Weber. | Zerx Press, 725 Van Buren Place SE, Albuquerque NM 87108

& Nothing But The Zone | First printing. 300 copies. September 2011. Zerx chap # 68. Cover illustration: “Zweeeet! bwiff, bonnnk!”— JB Bryan ink on paper. Frontispiece: JB Bryan studio. | Copyright © 2011 by JB Bryan. All Rites Reversed. Zerx Press 725 Van Buren Place SE Albuquerque NM 87108

mark weber | mitch rayes and a bus called ellusive

Mitch Rayes | August 28, 2o11 | Photo by Mark Weber


by Mark Weber (September 24, 2o11)

Even though a poet must write nearly continuously from the teenage years till death at old gray frizzled ninety not more than a few of their poems will have the magic — it’s the nature of poetry — like any of the other arts you must keep laboring at the craft but with poetry it’s outcome is slippery —

I write maybe a hundred poems per year these days (and three-times that during 1986-1998 period) and only 2 or 3 of them are exceptional —

And then as the years tumble onward, add those 2 or 3 to the 2 or 3 from all the years and over the course of 70 years you’ll have maybe 150 poems AND out of that there will only be 2 or 3 —

That’s it.

A lifetime of work for 2 or 3 poems!

In fact, if the poet has any brains left they’ll pray that only those specific 2 or 3 poems survive!

Trash all the rest! Burn ’em. Make little paper sailboats out of them and see if they’ll catch up with LiPo’s, those that he let go down the river (literally, as the legend has it).

Poetry is such a rarefied, untenable, evanescent, fleeting, fugitive, forfeited, evaporative art form that nothing else should be expected.

My little bi-annual chapbooks from Zerx Press are merely progress reports that I publish in small editions of 300 to give to my friends and also to notify my enemies that I exist.

I will say that I am glad that there are more than 3 or 4 poems of Dick Barnes’ work — his body of work might only be 200 poems and I’m glad each and every one exists. But, he’s an exception.

Here in Albuquerque almost twenty years ago I was riding a bus across town and I read a poem on a placard mounted on the curve where the wall becomes the ceiling, just above the windows. This was one of those poems that a poet hopes for. A good one. Says it was by a guy name of Mitch Rayes. About five or ten years later I met Mitch and we’re now good friends. But, at the time, I said to myself, I have to find this guy, a real poet lives in Albuquerque. Subsequently, I hassled Mitch for years to get me a copy of this immortal poem and him being a modest guy, well, I never seen the poem again until I was in the performance space known as The Projects a couple weeks ago and gawd damn there was that very same placard with that ellusive poem, right there on the gawd damn wall! I was jumping up & down. And so, here it is, by MITCH RAYES:

The Next Stop

We are
alike in this: we can’t escape
……..this ride we’re on.

The bus
can only take us
……..where we’ve already been.

The next stop
is the one that leaves us
somewhere else.

lisa polisar | renowned poet and jazz evangelist, writer mark weber talks freely about his bohemian life in the american west | copyright © september, 2011

Ever heard of a Jazz Anthropologist? It’s someone who studies the behaviors, traits, culture, history and development of the genus: jazz musician. It is a highly revered occupation, requiring decades of copious research, writing, photojournalism, recording, listening, interviews, along with significant field work and observation.

I know of only one person with this particular occupation. And if you live in New Mexico, you may know him as that gravelly voice on KUNM Radio every Thursday, playing an eclectic set of jazz recordings anywhere between the 1920’s to now. You may have hired him to paint your house. You may have read one of his Zerx Press poetry chapbooks or, if you’re a musician, you may have been recorded by him on a Zerx compilation CD. He plays guitar, he plays the gamelan, his poetry and jazz journalism have been widely published for over 20 years, and he has a 10,000+ jazz and blues photo archive in the UCLA Music Department’s Special Collection. Like I said, a jazz anthropologist. But he’s accomplished in so many different areas, finding a singular label to accurately describe him is like trying to explain reality.

Before landing in New Mexico, he spent the first 32 years of his life in California. With that came an eclectic resume of work in a plastics factory, on oil boats in the Gulf of Mexico, as an auto mechanic, wedding photographer, all the while living the essential writer’s life – observing, writing, recording and archiving jazz musicians during the most potent period in jazz history.

Meet…Mark Weber.

Lisa Polisar: What do you think is the connection between jazz and poetry?

Mark Weber: One is deliberate, the other is spontaneous. Now, of course there exists some jazz that is only about 5% spontaneous. With poetry, the closest I come to spontaneous is preparing myself psychically, mentally, physically to be ready to write clearly and fast when the poems come through.

I recently performed at the Outpost Performance Space in Albuquerque, and I was in duet with pianist Kazzrie Jaxen — poems + piano. During rehearsal, Kazzrie noticed that we needed a certain type of poem to fit into a certain part of the performance sequence. She practically spelled out the entire poem with her description of the elements needed. “Do you have a poem like that?” she asked. I looked around and paused, not sure I should inform her that poets don’t have mystical turbans and write in a trance directed by the clouds. I hurriedly scratched out a poem for her on the table and she said, “You just wrote that now?” and probably ruined her romantic notion of poets in eternal garrets.

Lisa Polisar: How much revision do you do?

Mark Weber: I try to get 98% of it down in the first draft. Poems are not written on demand, though I’m embarrassed to say that I am guilty of cranking them out in this manner if the need arises. Jack Kerouac’s and Allen Ginsberg’s notion of “Spontaneous Bop Prosody” has always appealed to me. But for me, it has to be crafted. So, I revise. Just a little.

When a poem is electrical, it’s because it has captured that moment of inspiration, that instance of heightened awareness somehow makes it into the written poem. Now, I’ve come to enjoy the 2% of revising that I allow myself. Sometimes you just have to toss the poem and wait for the spirit to visit you again. For fun, I once published a book called POEM REVISED 39 TIMES (Mt. Aukum Press, 1999), and it’s an idea I’d like to explore further. I revised that poem to death.

“One has to be careful not to revise too much because you can drain the blood out of a poem with too much revision.”

Lisa Polisar: Do you write about jazz and play music in the spaces between poems, or the other way around?

Mark Weber: Poems are everywhere. A person who has designs on writing poems merely needs to learn how to notice them as they pass by. I keep a little notepad in my breast pocket. And while I’m waiting for poems to occur to me, I busy myself with jazz journalism. I’ve found I can be quite productive writing my little jazz articles and the poems just pop up now and again with some regularity. Mostly, you have to decide which poem you want to bother with. I don’t write down every poem that comes floating by. Some of that stuff is just pure anxiety masquerading as a poem. It’s the mind trying to figure out a way to get center stage. “Look at me! Here’s something you need to worry about, make a poem, make yourself the hero, the martyr, the guy that everyone wants to love.” That’s the mind doing its busy work.

“I tell beginning writers to write with their stomachs and leave the mind out of it.”

Lisa Polisar: In what ways has jazz influenced your poetry?

Mark Weber: Jazz is so lyrical. It taught me flow. It taught me clarity. It taught me to trust the moment. It taught me brevity, abstraction, and power. It taught me integrity and rhythm.

Lisa Polisar: How has your poetry changed over the years?

Mark Weber: In a lot of ways it has stayed the same. There have been no drastic left turns in style. My first published poem — age 15 in high school paper — is a very good poem but there was a LOT of learning yet to do. It wasn’t until I was 28 that a true flowing narrative style kicked in. Learning how to write was very difficult for me, for some reason. All those years I was writing for jazz magazines and by age 21 I had my own by-line in CODA writing the Los Angeles jazz column ( in over my head, to be sure, but that’s one way to learn!). I struggled over those columns. Hard work. I built those paragraphs like you’d build a house. Cut and paste. And the poems, well, I just couldn’t get the hook-up back then.

“I wrote ten years of poems that were so clunky they drove like a tricycle with an oblong wheel.”

I have three main types of poems: my slice-of-life, day to day plainspeak that I jokingly refer to as angst poems; my atmospheric landscape poems; and then a new thing for me: poems that reject the anxiety of a busy mind and look to larger things. I don’t want to call them spiritual, necessarily, but they lean that way. I wish I could be Rumi but there’s been too much weird water under the bridge for that. Maybe my meditation practice will clear that up.

Lisa Polisar: What was your first published poem?

into the ocean.
appiered dead ships.
and her?

The Plaid Press, Vol. 16, Number 7, Upland High School, Upland, California, March 3, 1972

Lisa Polisar: As a longtime jazz observer, how do you think the jazz scene has changed?

Mark Weber: Tough question. Has it changed? Of course, the Buddha says change is the constant. I can’t say that there’s been any great innovations in the last few decades. I was discussing this with composer-trombonist Michael Vlatkovich the other day and he pointed out, quite correctly, that most of the valid innovations these days are happening merely with individual soloists in how they deal with the landscape of saying something within a group. That their solos are where it’s all happening these days, while riding the tide of a cranking jazz band, in the moment.

So, nothing like what happened with bebop when it arrived in the mid-40s. Or when Ornette Coleman showed a multi-tonal “free approach” to harmony in the late 50s. Or Cecil Taylor at the same time who showed how to work with tone rows and energy. There’s been a lot of different things tossed into jazz that seem like a change, but mostly still basically jazz. Mostly, the change has been in me.

That’s what jazz does – it absorbs everything in its path… and turns it into jazz.

The “CD Era” has made it possible to re-issue so much music from the 1920s clear up to now, that I’ve gone back and now spend a lot of time in those places, where my youthful interests were a lot more avant garde. Recently, my dear friend JB Bryan defended me when a local nutjob attacked me at the Outpost for “playing all that old music” on my radio show. I couldn’t dispute that. But, JB calmly explained, “Mark’s so avant-garde…he popped out the other side.”

I love going into local joints and seeing those cats working the trenches. This is where the real jazz is taking place. Now, I love our performance spaces where an actual presentation is mounted to show what you do. But it’s out in the bars, lounges, restaurants, and sidewalks where the music lives. You step into one of these places and we all speak a common language.

Lisa Polisar: When did you first leave California?

Mark Weber: In May of 1986, because the cops had intended to capture me and keep me permanently in the California Penal Colony. I had committed no crimes against people and was mostly my bookish self, spending my evenings in jazz clubs, but over the years my dabbling in heroin had progressed to an addiction. And with all the jail and hospitals behind that scene, I finally had to leave town.

I went north to Redding, California, where my Hardshell Baptist grandmother lived and wound up in Redding General Hospital for 28-day lockdown where I was cured of heroin. When I left there, I was lounging on the beach at Whiskeytown Lake and met Janet. She was on summer break from Podiatry College in Cleveland. So we took up housekeeping and have been together ever since.

Lisa Polisar: When did you start playing music seriously?

Mark Weber: In 1991, Janet and I moved to Albuquerque after 2 years in Salt Lake City, where she was doing her medical residency. And in 1994, I quit the sauce and have been clear of all that foolishness ever since. And once sober, I discovered that I could play music, sort of. I joined the local gamelan orchestra and, in the same year, started a honky tonk country band called The Bubbadinos. Talk about schizophrenic!

Those are two wildly different musics. And my forties were like that – off in five different directions at once. My involvement with jazz deepened and I became a deejay at KUNM in August of 1996 that is on-going to this day. I think it was like a slingshot effect once I got the various addictions out of my system. I had all this energy saved up and WHAM! I shot off into the stratosphere. I even built the second story on our house…in 9 weeks! And I wrote all the songs for the Bubbadinos’ third CD while building the rooms up above. How? I have no idea. And all those years I had a house painting business to finance my record company, Zerx Records & Books.

Mark Weber, The Projects, New Mexico, August 28, 2011 | Photo by Mark Weaver

Lisa Polisar: What are you reading right now, and what genre do you read most?

Mark Weber: I read a lot of Lawrence Block — mostly his Matt Scudder series. And I’m always reading Vedic and Buddhist texts. Presently an annotation of Nagarjuna’s Buddhist treatise, Mulamadhyamakakarika from the 2nd century A.D.

I’m also a big fan of Al Franken’s masterpiece that I have read ten times “Rush Limbaugh Is A Big Fat Idiot.” It’s so pitch perfect and the timing of his delivery still catches me off-guard. And I hardly know anything about politics! My wife walks by and sees me with that book and says, “Are you reading that again??”

Lisa Polisar: What is the book you’re writing now?

Mark Weber: Like most books, it has spent years percolating inside my head. It’s about the Los Angeles jazz scene of the 1950s through the 1980s, sort of noir impressionistic, incorporating not only the jazz scene but the socio-political layout and the vibe of that period.

I want it to work on the rhythms of a Ross Macdonald novel, somewhat hard-core night-like, dream-like. The jazz critical establishment is going to hate it. I’m sorry for that but it’s my book. This book will have historical facts as well as dream poems, photos, maps, diagrams, sheet music, and other graphics. I used to tell student writers to get a camera. That taking pictures is a great way to have the feeling of accomplishing something…while you’re waiting for your poems and writing to mature.

Lisa Polisar: Where did the idea for Zerx come from?

Mark Weber: Zerx Press started in 1983. The first chapbook was an edition of 50 copies. Thereafter, the print runs were around 300 copies, then in the late 80s through 2005 the print runs were 500 and now they’ve backed off down to 300. Zerx Records started in 1995 and all releases up to 076 were glass mastered in editions of 1,000 (except for the Bayou Seco CDs which were editions of 2,000). Zerx 077, 078, and 079 and forthcoming 080 are CDRs in unlimited editions somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 to 300 copies.

The name “Zerx” is a funny story. I made my first chapbook using the office copier where I worked at the time. An edition of 50 copies. And in the rush of production, I realized I needed to put a name for the publisher. So, the machine I was using was a Xerox company machine so the first chap was published under the imprint “Xerox Press,” merely because I was tuned into the word in its generic sense, not its trademark scene. It was Gerald Locklin who told me I should maybe consider changing the name. And so, I crunched it down to Zerx.


The Buddha was right:
apparently there were olden days
that were not any older than
this day right now —
You look at the cave paintings
of Chauvet and the intervening
32,000 years fall away —
You walk into Walmart and a man
wearing a Mohawk whose face has
been swallowed by a lawnmower is telling
the greeter that he is God —
You note that time has done a number
on God, you hope it has been kinder
to the avocados, you fold your sunglasses
and discreetly watch this poor broken-hearted
fellow traveler ranting and raving,
not an uncommon scenario in this part
of town: cops handcuffing and hauling
the gods off to the clinker to sleep
it off —
I was on a bus in this very time zone year before last
when I overheard a wino in seat behind me
tell the wino across the aisle that
he was going to Heaven, soon,
and the other wino affectionately said
that he too was going to Heaven, maybe
they’d run into each other up there?
And the first wino said, Yeh, that would be
great, will you say Hi to me if you see me?
And the other wino quite matter-of-factly said, Oh
yeh, I’ll be sure to say Hi when I see you —
Blending my avocado-banana-blueberry smoothie
I think about news item regarding the planet Gliese 581d
twenty light years distant, recently discovered to have
possibilities of life, they need a more advanced
telescope to see for sure —
Probably look in a complete circle and see
charcoal paintings of cave bears, saber-toothed cats,
woolly mammoths, and horses flowing in time.

Mark Weber | 1july11

To read more about Mark Weber and his CDs and poetry chapbooks, go to Zerxpress and Metropolis.

Lisa Polisar

is a fiction writer, journalist, musician and screenwriter. Her love affair with mysteries began with English mystery writers — Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Colin Dexter, P.D. James, and she remains an insatiable devotee of Sherlock Holmes to this day. Lisa did graduate work in psychology and orchestral music at University of Exeter in England. Forever fascinated with the psychology of crimes and criminals, she has continued to study forensic science and psychology ever since as a way of digging deeper into the heart of her characters. Her published novels include Escape: Dark Mystery Tales, a collection of short mystery fiction published in 2010, The Ghost of Mary Prairie, a classic mystery/suspense published in 2007, Blackwater Tango, a psychological thriller published in 2002, and Knee Deep, an eerie suspense published in 2001. For more information and to read excerpts and reviews of Lisa’s novels, click the Books link on this website or go to

Lisa was six when she began flute and piano lessons, and she earned a degree in music and psychology from University of Hartford’s Hartt School of Music. As a professional jazz flutist, she has recorded on numerous CD’s, has taught workshops on jazz improvisation and creativity, is a private flute teacher, and performs with various ensembles. In 1998, Lisa wrote the book, Straight Ahead: A Musician’s Guide to Learning Jazz and Staying Inspired (Chile Piper Press).

Lisa has written three feature-length comedy screenplays and she is currently working on a fourth, along with a new thriller. Her short fiction and poetry have been widely published in literary journals, and as a journalist, Lisa writes features articles, technical articles, art reviews, and book reviews for a variety of magazines. In 2004, she won two journalism awards from the National Association of Press Women. Lisa grew up in Hingham, Massachusetts, and has lived in Connecticut, England, and New Mexico. She now lives with her husband in northern California.

To read more about Lisa Polisar, please go here… or just click the photo portrait above.

Editors Note: Thanks to Lisa Polisar for the use of this interview on Metropolis

mark weber | j.a. deane and his miles thing

J.A. Deane on stage at Outpost Performance Space, Albuquerque, April 2, 2010 | Photo: Mark Weber

J.A. Deane and his Miles Thing

I have two consecutive radio shows scheduled with my old friend J.A. Deane.

KUNM 89.9 FM and streaming on the web > – Albuquerque, New Mexico USA – Host: MARK WEBER – The Thursday Jazz Show @ Noon (12:06 to be exact) September 15 and 22, 2o11

On the 15th we return to the music of Miles Davis and do part 2 of J.A. Deane’s choices and explanations into Miles’ rhythmic propulsion, his shift away from metrical time and into realms of pulse and flow and energy. (Part 1 of this series was broadcast Live on May 26, even though it’s focus wasn’t entirely upon Miles, Miles is never too far from the surface with Dino.)

With J.A. Deane it has always been about energy (chi) and those indefinable elements in music more akin to metaphysics than musicology, and so he has always been a close participant in Miles Davis music. I say “participant” simply because Dino listens to Miles on that level. The levels beyond analysis, more into what’s the actual intent of this music, and any music, really.

On the 22nd we’ll have a live performance of DJ Duo, the long-standing association that J.A.Deane and Joey Sabella have had that spans 30 or 40 years. ( I think they play together every Thursday at Dino’s studio in Villanueva — for years.) This will be broadcast from Studio A at KUNM and engineered by Ramon Garcia. It will be a 30-minute shot beginning at 1pm. There will also be interviews with Dino & Joey to explain their gear and their approach and the music.

J.A. Deane on stage at Outpost Performance Space, Albuquerque, April 2, 2010 | Photo: Mark Weber

Here is what Dino had to say about the two radio shows:

the show on the 15th is part two of looking at the music i was listening to in my teenage years and covers the period of 1965 to 1968 and mile’s last acoustic quintet before he went into his electric period (silent way – bitches brew etc.) and covers the six albums he released between 65 and 68 esp/miles smiles/sorcerer/nefertiti/miles in the sky/filles de kilimanjaro – this was a period where his music and this very powerful group took things to a place of great abstraction and was a real showcase period for the compositions of wayne shorter.

the show on the 22nd is a live in studio performance by DJ DUO which is myself on lap steel dulcimer and (multi-instrumentalist) joseph sabella on wave drum. joseph and i have been playing music together since 1974 in all kinds of musical situations. this in studio performance will be a preview of what we will be doing at two upcoming concerts the weekend following the radio show (Friday 9/23 in santa fe and Sunday 9/25 in albuquerque) — d

listen to J.A. Deane & Joseph Sabella | The Last Day of Summer | taken from The Subspace Anamolies Jazz Radio Show. Host: Mark Weber, September 22, 2011 – KUNM Albuquerque. Guests: J.A. Dean & Joseph Sabella

Joey Sabella | August 8, 2010 playing vibes at an Out of Context monthly session | Photo: Mark Weber

And here is the playlist for the show on the 15th. Hover over the cover for some more detailed information please…and listen to some music and words from The Nefertiti Jazz Radio Show KUNM Albuquerque September 15, 2011. Host: Mark Weber. Guest: J.A. Deane & his Miles Thing

(excerpt) 1 – esp – 20jan65 from the album ESP  listen to Mark Weber & J.A. Deane in conversation (excerpt)|  (excerpt)  2 – footprints – 25oct66 from the album MILES SMILES | 3 – masqualero – 17may67 from the album SORCERER  listen to Mark Weber & J.A. Deane in conversation (excerpt) | (excerpt) 4 – nefertiti – 7june67 from the album NEFERTITI listen to Mark Weber & J.A. Deane in conversation (excerpt) | (excerpt) 5 – black comedy – 16may68 from the album MILES IN THE SKY  listen to Mark Weber & J.A. Deane in conversation (excerpt)  |  (excerpt)   6 – filles de kilimanjaro – 21june68 from the album FILLES DE KILIMANJARO listen to Mark Weber & J.A. Deane in conversation

AND for a great blog, see this: J.A. Deane or just click one of his photo portraits above please.

J.A. Deane and Joseph Sabella | Control room at KUNM Live broadcast September 22, 2o11 | Photos by Mark Weber
J.A. Deane and Joseph Sabella | Control room at KUNM Live broadcast September 22, 2o11 photos by Mark WeberJ.A. Deane and Joseph Sabella | Control room at KUNM Live broadcast September 22, 2o11 photos by Mark WeberJ.A. Deane and Joseph Sabella | Control room at KUNM Live broadcast September 22, 2o11 photos by Mark WeberJ.A. Deane and Joseph Sabella | Control room at KUNM Live broadcast September 22, 2o11 photos by Mark WeberJ.A. Deane and Joseph Sabella | Control room at KUNM Live broadcast September 22, 2o11 photos by Mark Weber

listen to J.A. Deane & Joseph Sabella Live at KUNM Radio Station, September 22, 2011 hosted by Mark Weber

listen to J.A. Deane & Joseph Sabella Live at KUNM Radio Station, September 22, 2011 hosted by Mark Weber

listen to J.A. Deane & Joseph Sabella Live at concert Santa Fe, September 23, 2011

listen to J.A. Deane & Joseph Sabella Live at concert Albuquerque, September 25, 2011

mark weber | luminous magical

Portrait of Lester Young, Famous Door, New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1946] (LOC) William Gottlieb, P., 1917-, photographer.


For Dan Morgenstern who showed me Lester Young’s saxophone



Now that I have held this saxophone
………………………….in my hands
this mythical horn that once danced with
joy in the hands of a poet, with unbound breath

It occurs to me that if I was to look even
deeper beyond this magical talisman of jazz

I could look for what mountain, what mine shaft
gave up the metal that made this saxophone

All the elements of the ever-spiraling universe are in it
And who was the highland Scottish shepherd made
………………………….the felt pads
Which Caribbean Island did the bamboo cane reed grow?

And still, you’d have to know, that it was spirit that
filled this saxophone, that the unfetter’d soul of a dreamer

came into possession of this perfect saxophone
this geometry atomized held sideways on the bandstand

Dan said, “Go ahead, pick it up if you want”

This is the horn he played for Billie
This is the one on his first record “Lady Be Good”
………………………..and “Shoe Shine Boy”
This is the horn he had when the Henderson lady said No, No, No,
……… like the Hawk

be like a dauguerrotype crow
enchanted subterranean energized fluidity sparkling like
barking clouds

the absolute supernatural joy he catapulted across the sky,
luminous intelligence, the gold Conn with
the number 4 six times in a row

incandescent back waters of consciousness, before the melancholy
set in, tarnished like a bandit’s miracle

One wonders why he set this horn down, why he parted with it
what undercurrent blue oceanic depths &
alchemical grace changed

Mark Weber – 15-21aug11

Lester Young’s grave | Evergreens Cemetery, Brooklyn (Plot: Redemption section; Grave: 11418) | December 6, 2004 | Photo by Mark Weber

Lester Young’s grave | Evergreens Cemetery, Brooklyn (Plot: Redemption section; Grave: 11418) | December 6, 2004 | Photo by Mark Weber

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